I was very excited to gather together and spend time again with the wonderful ladies who lunch. I chose a New Zealand theme – preparing some of the dishes I grew up with and some that were new to me. Everything everyone contributed was fabulous – food and conversation, resulting in yet another joyful occasion for the taste buds and the soul.
FEIJOA AND APPLE FIX
1 ounce of feijoa vodka
lemon wedge to garnish
Fill glass with ice. Add vodka and top with apple juice. Stir and garnish with lemon wedge.
Recipe adapted from Food.com
1 pound of sausage
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1 to 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon ketchup
1/3 cup stale breadcrumbs
1 to 2 sheets of puff pastry
1 egg, lightly beaten
Lightly grease 1 to 2 oven trays.
Combine sausage, onion, thyme parsley, ketchup and breadcrumbs in a bowl, mix well.
Spread out pastry sheets and using a rolling pin, roll them until they are thin.
Place the sausage mixture down the center of the pastry.
Brush edges of pastry with lightly beaten egg, fold over sides of pastry to enclose mixture.
Trim ends of rolls, and cut into 2 inch long pieces. Repeat as necessary.
Lightly brush rolls with remaining egg, cut a couple of slits into the top of each roll.
Bake in a moderate oven about 20 minutes, or until lightly browned and cooked through.
Recipe adapted from The Australian Womens Weekly, October 1991
ROAST KUMARA AND CASHEW SALAD
2 to 3 kumara, peeled and diced
olive oil for roasting
salt and freshly ground black pepper
fresh rosemary sprigs
1 cup cashew nuts
1/3 cup chopped fresh mint
couple of handfuls of arugula
chopped spring onion for garnish
200 ml olive oil
75 ml balsamic vinegar
50 ml freshly squeezed orange juice
1 tablespoon sugar
4 teaspoon curry powder
Heat oven to 180C.
Toss diced kumara in oil and season with salt and black pepper. Place in a roasting dish and scatter with rosemary sprigs. Roast for 25 to 30 minutes or until tender.
While kumara is cooling, increase temperature of oven to 200C and roast cashew nuts in a separate dish for 8 to 10 minutes. Toss after 5 minutes so nuts become evenly colored.
Add cooled cashews to the kumara, and toss with chopped mint and arugula.
Make dressing by blending all ingredients in a blender.
Add about half the dressing to kumara mixture and stir lightly. Add more dressing to taste.
Garnish with chopped spring onion.
Recipe adapted from Market Day, 2007
PINK PEPPERCORN PAVLOVA WITH VANILLA CREAM AND BASIL SYRUP
1/3 cup fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup light corn syrup
4 egg whites, room temperature
1 cup sugar, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon pink peppercorns, lightly crushed
3/4 cup chilled whipping cream
1 tablespoon sugar
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
Blanch 1/3 cup basil leaves in a small saucepan of boiling water for 30 seconds. Drain, then transfer basil to a bowl of iced water to cool. Drain, squeeze out excess water from basil. Puree basil with corn syrup in blender. Cover and chill at least 2 hours or overnight to allow flavors to develop.
Bring basil syrup to room temperature before serving.
Position rack in the center of the oven and heat to 275F.
Draw six 2 1/2 inch circles on parchment paper, then invert onto baking sheet. Using electric mixer, beat egg whites in a large bowl to soft peaks. Gradually add 3/4 cup sugar, beating to medium firm peaks. Beat remaining 1/4 cup sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl. Gradually beat sugar-cornstarch mixture into meringue, beating until very stiff. Beat in white wine vinegar. Fold in peppercorns. Divide meringue between circles, spread to fill completely. Bake until outside is dry, about 25 minutes. Turn oven off and open door slightly. Let meringues cool in oven until completely dry, about 1 hour.
Place cream and sugar in a medium bowl. Scrape seeds in from vanilla bean. Using electric mixer, beat cream to soft peaks.
Place a meringue on each plate, top with a generous amount of vanilla cream. Top with strawberries and fresh basil leaves. Drizzle basil syrup on plate.
Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit, May 2008